A Deluge of Microsoft Smartphones
By Eric Lin, Tue Nov 04 19:45:00 GMT 2003

Verizon (accidentally or not) have finally posted some information about the long-awaited Samsung i600 on their website. Expected in stores this month, this is the first Microsoft Smartphone for CDMA networks. In addition ODMs Compal and Mitac are announcing they have more Smartphones in the pipeline.

Like Motorola's MPx200 Smartphone, the Samsung i600 is a bit behind the times. It too runs the 2002 version of the OS and lacks modern features such as Bluetooth or a camera. North American GSM users who wanted to get their hands on a Smartphone have been importing tri band models from Europe and Asia, but CDMA subscribers were left out in the cold until Verizon made this slip.

While releases in the US are a year behind, additional carriers in Europe are announcing they will support the new HTC Voyager, known on the Orange network as the SPV e200. This phone runs Smartphone 2003 and includes Bluetooth and a VGA camera.

More Microsoft handsets are coming as well. Compal, whose AR11 is sold in the Microsoft Smartphone Developer's Kit, has promised a new clamshell model with a camera, which they hope will enter production late next year. Mitac, who are already shipping one Smartphone and have shown off a slimmed down successor, say they expect to release at least ten new Microsoft Smartphones next year.

ODMs like HTC and Mitac are churning out new Smartphones like mad, but the big licensees like Motorola and Samsung each just released their first 2002 model. Why are they moving at a comparatively glacial pace?